A man's determination to get back on the water

How many of y’all are from Austin? If so, you’ve probably tuned into KVUE to get your daily dose of local news, sports and entertainment many times. Well, after doing a quick segment with them on the launch of our new wood wakesurf boards back in June they contacted us again to see if we would be interested in doing a more in depth piece with them on the history of our brand as well as the actual wood paddle board making process. Of course, this was an opportunity that we could not turn down. Little did we know, that this segment would give us the opportunity to help a well deserving fellow Texan. 


Terri Gruca is a well known reporter/anchor for KVUE and she took the ropes on this story. When Terri and her crew came to shoot in our shop, she was talking to us about a local Austin prosthetic specialist she did a story on a couple weeks ago. She insisted we meet, as we share similar passions in life. Chase Brown owns Capital Prosthetics and Orthotics here in Austin, TX. He is committed to providing the highest quality and most innovative approaches to prosthetic and orthotic devices. I would say he is far exceeding that. We got to talking and he told us about a patient he sees regularly (this patient drives all the way from Port Mansfield to see him). Charlie was an avid surfer before he developed a nerve condition that cost him his leg. Since then, he has yet to get back on the water. We got to brainstorming with Terri and Chase, and we came up with a plan to Charlie back onto the water again. We were going to gift him a paddle board. 


A few weeks later, Charlie came in to Austin to see Chase for one his regular appointments. He had recently received a water proof foot and Chase wanted to make sure everything was still working properly. Chase and Charlie’s girlfriend helped come up with a way to get him out to Austin Ski Shores where we were waiting along side Terri with a paddle board. Charlie was speechless and we had never felt so honored to be a part of such a special and life changing moment. 

Charlie’s girlfriend fought back tears as she talked about how she truly believes that people are put into our lives for a purpose and we could not agree more. People are truly brought into your life for a reason and Terri and Chase were put into our life for this reason. Charlie is now back home at his house on the coast using his wooden paddle board to get back into surfing. 


Click the link to watch the whole surprise take place.

Be an ambassador. Save $250. Inspire others.

I've said it from the beginning. Absolutely nothing is as inspiring as seeing customers around the world using and loving the wood paddle boards that we've handcrafted right here in Austin, TX. The images and stories you guys have shared with us are truly inspiring, not just to us but to fellow paddlers

We don't want to be the only one's that have the opportunity to see the amazing places our paddle boards have gone and the lives they have been a part of. So, to celebrate the Jarvis Boards family we have formed and are continuing to form, we are doing something we've never done before. During the month of September, we are looking for a select number of new brand ambassadors who will save $250 off their new board purchase. Once approved all you have to do to is agree to share a photo on your social media using the tag #JarvisBoards.

You don't need to be a model, a professional photographer, or have a huge social media following to apply. All you need is a dedication to inspiring others to get outside and a willingness to share your favorite pictures via social media. Application deadline is September 22nd and slots are limited.

Already purchased a board before September 11? Don't worry we have got you covered too. Stay tuned next month for a special contest just for you guys! 

*Purchases of in-stock boards only. Limited slots available. Ends September 22nd.

Tanker Surfing the Texas Gulf Coast

I had heard about it for years, but the stars never fully aligned until a few weeks back. Along the Texas Gulf Coast there is this thing called "Tanker Surfing." It is basically as insane as it sounds... Find a huge ship going the right speed, at the right location, and if the conditions are right, you'll catch a leg burning, minutes long wave, on a wooden paddle board of course. 

Photo Courtesy Steve Nelson

Now here's the story of how our epic trip came together. I received a message from Jon (aka "Abstractconformity") at about 8 p.m. and all it said was, "Tanker surfing 0700." Normally, a 7 a.m. wake up call is easy, but knowing that I had a few more hours of work in the shop and wouldn't be asleep before midnight, this was a major dilemma. Throwing caution to the wind, I loaded up the wood paddle boards, set the alarm for a whopping three hours of sleep and then set off for the three hour trek to the Gulf Coast.

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Right on que, I pulled in at 6:50 a.m. to catch the early morning light as the sun rose over the ship channel. No time to waste, we met Steve at the dock, loaded the boards in his boat, and then the hunt for our wave began. 

When you're tanker surfing, it is not as easy as finding a ship and riding the wake. The ship has to be over a certain size, loaded, traveling the right speed, and over the right part of the channel. Here's where inside knowledge comes to play in this story -- both Jon and Steve are pilots. If you don't know what a pilot is, visit Jon and Steve's Instagram pages. These guys are the "cream of the crop" of the merchant marine industry driving 600 to 1000 foot long tankers day and night. 

I digress, if you haven't seen one of these tankers up close, its impossible to capture via images how truly massive these things are. However, for reference, each "box" on the deck in the image above is the size of an 18-wheeler. I'm not going to lie, as we got closer to the first ship, excitement turned to straight panic. What if I'm rolled by a wave...what if I'm bashed on the rocks...what if I just suck...what if...

Before a full blown panic could set in, Steve yells, "It's go time." We had found a loaded ship, traveling fast enough, and throwing a killer wave. When it's go time,  you've essentially got 20 seconds to get your board over the side of the boat and get in position for the approaching wave. You may ask, "Why the rush?" Well, Google tanker surfing accident. Need I say more?

As the first wave came in, Jon and I were in perfect position. The wind was blowing perfectly in the right direction. Paddle! Paddle! Paddle! And...we both miss it... I can't describe how disappointed and dejected I was after seeing the perfect wave rise, fall, and pass me up. As I'm licking my wounds, Steve pulls the power boat around and yells, "You gotta get closer to the rocks you Kooks! If it feels sketchy, thats right where you want to be!"

Again, no time to waste. We load up the boards and set out in search for another ship. This time, we were set and ready as the power of Jin Yuan's wake comes rolling through with more than 2 billion cubic feet of LNG on board. At this point my arms were tired, I was tired, and I missed breakfast, but I paddled on. As the waves started bearing down on us, I could feel my board begin to rise as I started accelerating down the face of the wave. Boom! The moment had come, I was up and I was officially tanker surfing. 

Let me tell you, the three hours of sleep, three hour drive, and skipped breakfast were totally worth it. For over two minutes at a time, we caught wave after wave all day. Over the length of the ride, the wave changed from steep to mush to steep again. It was the ride of a lifetime.

 Photo Courtesy Jon Dunway

Photo Courtesy Jon Dunway

Moral of the story, if someone you've met via Instagram says lets go tanker surfing...you go, no questions asked. 

By Tony Smith

Founder @JarvisBoards

America The Beautiful



Wakesurfing — the lake activity that has probably filled every one of each of your Instagram feeds this summer. It is safe to say that wakesurfing has taken the nation by storm. Go out to the nearest lake on any given Saturday and you’ll see some people barely trying to hold on to the wake, while others are trying to nail a 360 on one. 


We joined in on this fun by launching or own line of wood wakesurf boards back in June and you guys blew us away with your response to them. So we decided with summer coming to a close, we wanted to release two limited edition wood wakesurf boards that would be a necessity for your last minute lake vacations. 


As y’all know, we take pride in handcrafting our wood boards in the United States, so we thought what better way to pay tribute to that then to create a totally decked out “America” board. We crafted two wood wakesurf boards that feature 28 unique pieces of wood formed into the American flag. The front of this board features the unique rivers that make up the great American landscape that we get to call home. Now, we couldn’t just stop here because if you’re going to get patriotic, you’ve got to go all out. So, we set the price of these two unique wood wakesurf boards at $1776.00, the year our great country was founded. 


One week later and these two boards have already created quite the buzz. They were featured on the front page of the Style section on Dallas Morning News just a few short days after the initial launch. Like I mentioned, we only made two of these boards and one of them has already sold. That means there is only ONE left. Grab yours before they are gone forever!

--Code injection for Active campiaign